Road Runner Lands Media General as Affiliate

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Quiet but far from dormant, Road Runner landed MediaGeneral Cable as an affiliate last week.

Dave Charlton, general manager of high-speed data for the340,000-subscriber system, confirmed the agreement last week, saying that lengthynegotiations culminated in a deal that starts rolling out to 40,000 homes in Falls Church,Vienna and Maryfield, Va., next month.

Those towns are located in Fairfax County, the newheadquarters site for Road Runner.

"Then, we expand within the first six months to get to120,000 homes, and the goal is to have the service available to 200,000 customers by theend of next year," he added.

Notably, Bell Atlantic Corp. is currently rolling out ADSL(asymmetrical-digital-subscriber-line) service in that market, creating competitive heatfor Media General.

The MSO had been involved in a high-speed-data pilotproject with turnkey data provider Community Networks Inc., which is now out of business.

Charlton said Media General and Road Runner had been intalks for more than one year, and he went with Road Runner in part because the revenuesplits were better than those offered by @Home Network and others.

Robert Rusak, vice president of business development forRoad Runner, said he was "delighted to include Media General in the Road Runnerfamily."

Motorola Inc. got the nod for the cable modems that MediaGeneral will use.

The agreement is an important one for Road Runner, whichpassed the 160,000-subscriber mark last week and which plans to surpass 170,000 customersby year-end. Still, a search continues for a CEO for Road Runner, a spokeswoman said.

Michael Harris, an analyst with Phoenix-based KineticStrategies Inc., said the move shows that Road Runner is steamrollering ahead, despite alack of announcements over the past six months as the data provider got settled into itsnew headquarters in Fairfax, Va.

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